MELODY MUPETA, Kitwe
OVER 650 people on the Copperbelt are currently receiving treatment for sickle-cell anaemia at the Kitwe Teaching
Hospital, senior consultant paediatrician Jerome Sulubani has said.
In 2015, the hospital launched the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) club to help raise awareness and educate patients on how to manage the disease, which is hereditary.
Dr Sulubani said in an interview in Kitwe that the number of people seeking treatment for sickle cell at the health institution keeps increasing because of random tests conducted on people suspected to have it.
Dr Sulubani, who is also SCD president, said there is need to raise awareness on the disease because a lot of people still lack information on sickle-cell anaemia.
“We expect to see an increase in the number of people accessing treatment for sickle cell at our institution. Some people we attend to think they have malaria but when we do the tests, we find that they have sickle cell,” he said.
Dr Sulubani said the number of sickle-cell patients receiving treatment at the health institution is likely to increase with more sensitisation being conducted.
He said the purpose of the SCD club, which has also been opened in Ndola, Lusaka and Livingstone, is to help ascertain the number of people living with the disease in Zambia.
He said the number of people born with the disease can be reduced once people are sensitised on its causes and effects.
Dr Sulubani has since called on the public, especially couples that are about to get married, to get tested for the disease to ascertain if they are carriers of sickle-cell.